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Tiny home trend hits Billings

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The 'Montana' is 307 square feet (MTN News/Samantha Harrelson Photo) The 'Montana' is 307 square feet (MTN News/Samantha Harrelson Photo)
BILLINGS -

Eco-Built Homes, a company that manufactures ‘tiny homes,’ will be featured on HGTV’s “Tiny House Hunters” Monday night.

Tiny homes are gaining ground all over the country, albeit that ground ranges anywhere from 240 to 420-square-feet.

Ben Hahn, Eco-Built Homes national sales representative, doesn’t just design and sell the homes, he lives in one himself.

"I had some college loans and some debt and to pay,” said Hahn. “$200,000 just wasn't going to make sense. I think people are tired of paying rent. Affordable housing is really just not a reality for most people.”

Hahn said that is exactly why people are giving up their big homes and big payments for something smaller, maybe even 2,000-square-feet smaller.

The model featured on the show is the Montana, which is 307-square-feet and sells for about $70,000. Other tiny homes begin at about $30,000. 

“From the outside it looks small, but once you get in here, I mean, there's tons of room,” said Hahn.

The home is equipped with full kitchen appliances, and a full bathroom.

"We think it’s really important if you're going to downsize and go tiny that you have full size appliances, it allows you to live like you normally live," said Hahn.

With so little space, the designers are required to get creative when finding space for things like the water heater.

“Our water heater (is) conveniently underneath the kitchen counter top,” said Hahn. “Think small space. You have to be able to be efficient and utilize the space that you have.”

Hahn’s Eco-Built Homes aren’t quite as tiny as some of the others. Most tiny homes you see are about half as wide as the Eco-Built Homes.

With the help of patented technology, these homes actually can expand and contract with the click of a button.

The process only takes a couple of minutes, and when fully compacted, the house is only 8-feet wide.

“You can put it on a standard, flat bed trailer,” said Hahn. “The homeowner can move the home themselves, which we think is really important.”

Hahn thinks this really separates them from their competitors.

 “We knew that we had something special here when we were building these homes in Billings,” he said. “It’s just really nice to know that the national audience thinks the same thing."

It may take a special person to choose this lifestyle, but Hahn thinks there is something everyone can learn.

"I think in the world of bigger is better the tiny house niche definitely has a market,” said Hahn. “I think people realize, you don't need a lot of stuff to be happy."

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